Friday, August 3, 2007

Is an in-depth single player mode good for Super Smash Bros. Brawl?

I really wanted to get cracking on this article earlier, but my PC was being all buggy and crap, so I had to do a virus scan and delete a whole bunch of suspicious files. Suffice to say, it took me quite a while, but now my PC seems to be running well. Even if it does go all buggy again, I should be getting a brand new comp this month anyways, so no biggie.

So today on the official Super Smash Bros. Brawl website, we learned of the Subspace Emissary single player adventure mode. Of course, everybody online went totally nuts when they saw this. But, is such an in-depth single player mode good for the game?

Those of you who've been reading my blog for a while probably remember my article about Metroid Prime 3's lack of online and how it's probably a good thing, since the focus should be on the game's strong point, single player. Well, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is facing an opposite situation here, where an in-depth single-player mode is being introduced against it's flagship multiplayer mode. In contrast to my previous article, I feel this is a good thing.

First of all, every game should have a single-player mode. Not everyone has internet or close friends to play multiplayer with. The recently released Playstation 3 game, Warhawk, features nothing but multiplayer. Right on the box (Pictured below), it says (And I quote): "Multiplayer Only". This is a terrible idea, in my opinion. With the game being exclusively multiplayer, where does that leave the people in small towns without internet or a multitude of gamers? Well, frankly, they're shit outta luck there.

You read it right, folks: "Multiplayer Only"

So then, Super Smash Bros. Brawl needs single-player, for those unlucky enough to not have internet or gaming friends. Of course, single-player is nothing new to the Smash Bros. franchise, which brings me to my second point: There has always been a single-player mode of sorts in every game in the series. In the first, there was a tournament style mode, where the player was tasked with beating a series of enemies and fighting their way up to the Master Hand. Melee added the Adventure Mode, in which players had to make their way through several side-scrolling stages, as well as fight bosses and enemies. And with Brawl, there shall be the Subspace Emissary Mode. Sure, you can always just fight bots in Versus Mode, but I'm sure we'd all rather a fleshed out, story-driven single-player mode.

What about my biggest complaint about multiplayer in the Metroid games: Lack of space on the disc and development deadlines? This is evidently not a factor in Brawl, as Masahiro Sakurai (Developer of Super Smash Bros. Brawl) reportedly played a near-finished multiplayer match with Hideo Kojima (Famous for the Metal Gear series of games) months ago, and Kojima said "We could release this now and it would be great" (Proving development deadlines aren't an issue), and Sakurai said in today's Smash Bros. update that "this is all included in the same Game Disc", making the worry of space restrictions invalid. After all, they've promised several more stages and characters than ever before, so I'm sure they've reserved plenty of space on the disc for the essentials.

So then, I don't think there's any reason to worry about such an in-depth single-player mode being added. Nothing will be compromised. Super Smash Bros. Brawl will be the biggest and best game in the franchise yet, and it will do nothing but benefit from the addition of the Subspace Emissary mode.

The Duck Has Spoken.


CMM1215 said...

Well, for clarification, it was Hideo Kojima who said the overwhelming comments about Brawl when he played with Sakurai.

However, I totally agree with you. Smash Bros. has had a single-player component from the very beginning, and so it deserves to have the single-player upgraded as much as the multi-player has been.

Certainly, Sakurai and his team are very capable of delivering in both areas, so I don't see why people would be upset or even worried about this, other than the fact that they assume it will take away multiplayer resources.

There is a difference between doing something to better a game that is part of the plan from the beginning (Sakurai has stated in the past that he wanted to improve the single-player experience) and adding an element to the series that does not fit into the whole picture, ala online in Metroid Prime 3.

Anonymous said...

You know, I've never been a huge fan of the Smash Bros games because I kind of got tired of them quickly (mostly because the people I played against were waaaaaay better at it than me and you can only watch Princess Peach bounce off the screen so many times) but this more in-depth single player mode may just be enough to keep me interested in this one.

I'm looking forward to checking it out :)

Trance Gibson said...

Really, once you think about it, sure an in depth single player game will be great for Smash Bros. But then again, once you've already unlocked everything the game has to offer, chances are, you won't be playing it again.

A fine example would be the single player modes in Melee. Sure Adventure, Stadium and Event modes were cool, but after I got everything, I had no ambition to replay those modes again. I've always went straight to Classic mode, only because I just feel like fighting.

If the Subspace Emissary is as depth as Sakurai says it is, this will only mean it'll have the replay value of a single playthrough. Why do I say that? Because fighting games don't benefit from in depth modes, but instead, quick, pick up and play fast action modes.